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Sport shorts: Floyd Mayweather is ‘coming out of retirement’ and Euro 2020 play-offs could set up an all-Ireland clash

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Nov 22, 2019

Ten things from the world of sport on Friday 22 November

American boxer Floyd Mayweather and UFC president Dana White

1. Mayweather set to come out of retirement

Boxing legend Floyd Mayweather is planning to come out of retirement after revealing he is in talks with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White to bring a “spectacular event” in 2020.

See related Today’s back pages: ‘Spurs can win the Premier League next season’, says Jose Mourinho

The American, a 50-0 unbeaten five-weight world champion, hung up his gloves after defeating UFC star Conor McGregor in a boxing bout in 2017.

He has since took part in an exhibition with Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa in December 2018, but now looks ready to make another return.

Mayweather, 42, posted on Instagram: “Dana White and I are working together again to bring the world another spectacular event in 2020.”

In another post he added: “Coming out of retirement in 2020.”

2. Calderon: Bale should return to Spurs

Ex-Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon says the best solution for Gareth Bale’s future would be a return to Tottenham to work alongside new boss Jose Mourinho.

When celebrating Wales’s Euro 2020 qualification Bale angered Real after holding up a flag which said, “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order”.

Bale was previously a target when Mourinho was manager of Manchester United and Calderon told BBC Radio Wales: “It’s true that Mourinho likes the player. He said that in 2017 when he tried to sign [him] for Manchester United and Real Madrid decided to extend the contract of Gareth Bale.

“I remember him saying ‘if he is by the exit door, I will be waiting on the other side’, so maybe it’s a solution.”

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3. Asher-Smith named Sportswoman of the Year

Team GB sprint star Dina Asher-Smith has won the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year award for a second successive year.

Asher-Smith, 23, secured 200m gold at the World Championships in Doha in October and will go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as one of the favourites to medal.

4. Curran puts England in control

Sam Curran took two wickets as England finished day two in control of the first Test against New Zealand.

Ben Stokes hit 91 as England’s innings ended on 353 all out and the Blacks Caps ended the second day on 144-4. Curran claimed the wickets of Kiwi opener Tom Latham and captain Kane Williamson.

5. Koepka withdraws from Presidents Cup

American golf star Brooks Koepka will miss next month’s Presidents Cup because of a knee injury. His place in the United States squad has been handed to Rickie Fowler.

The US team will face an International team at The Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia from 9-15 December.

6. Euro 2020 play-offs could see an all-Ireland clash

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Scotland will host Israel in the semi-finals of the Euro 2020 play-offs at Hampden Park. The winners of the semi-final will then travel away to meet either Norway or Serbia.

If Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland both win their semi-finals they would face each other in Belfast for place at next summer’s European Championships.

The play-off semi-finals take place on 26 March 2020 and the finals will be played on 31 March. Winners of the four finals will then join the 20 teams that have already qualified for Euro 2020.

Euro 2020 play-off semi-final draw
  • Path A: Iceland vs. Romania; Bulgaria vs. Hungary (winner of the Bulgaria vs. Hungary clash will be at home in the path A play-off final)
  • Path B: Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland; Slovakia vs. Republic of Ireland (winner of the Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland will be at home in the path B play-off final)
  • Path C: Scotland vs. Israel; Norway vs. Serbia (winner of Norway vs. Serbia will host the path C play-off final)
  • Path D: Georgia vs. Belarus; North Macedonia vs. Kosovo (winner of Georgia vs. Belarus will host the path D play-off final)

7. Zlatan linked with Jose reunion

The Guardian reports that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is being linked with a move to Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham. Veteran Swedish striker Ibrahimovic has recently left MLS side LA Galaxy and previously played under Mourinho at Manchester United.

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For analysis of the biggest sport stories – and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news – try The Week magazine. Start your trial today
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8. Eddie Jones: ‘I’d love to coach Arsenal’

Could England rugby head coach Eddie Jones be the man to restore order at the “Mayhemirates”?

Speaking to talkSPORT, the Australian said: “I’d love to coach Arsenal. How good would that be! How much fun would that be!”

Lucas Torreira wanted by AC Milan and Napoli in January

9. Ferrari president ‘very angry’ with drivers

John Elkann, the president of Ferrari, admits he was “very angry” following the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at last weekend’s Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix.

When asked about the incident Elkann warned the duo of their responsibility of driving for Ferrari. “I’m very angry about Sunday’s grand prix,” he said. “What happened made us understand how important Ferrari is.

“The drivers, however good they are, mustn’t forget they are Ferrari drivers. Team work counts, the only thing that counts is that Ferrari wins.”

F1: what next for outgoing Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg?

10. Mourinho’s first press conference

Eleven months after parting company with Manchester United, Jose Mourinho is back in the big time.

The new Tottenham boss held his first press conference yesterday and spoke about many topics, including his ambitions at Spurs, his predecessor Mauricio Pochettino and how he has learnt from past mistakes.

He said: “I always thought that these 11 months were not a waste of time. They were months to think, to analyse, to prepare. You never lose your DNA, you never lose your identity, but I have time to think about many things.

“During my career I have made mistakes… I realised I made mistakes. I’m not going to make the same mistakes. I’ll make new mistakes – but not the same.”

Today’s back pages

‘Spurs can win the Premier League next season’, says Jose Mourinho

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For analysis of the biggest sport stories – and a concise, balanced take on the week’s news – try The Week magazine. Start your trial today
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